My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery

MDB_RingMaster Review

Never having been smitten by the My Dying Bride sound but equally never having felt the compulsion to turn the other way when it has stood before us either, taking a look at the band’s new album Feel The Misery has been a bit of an adventure. Fair to say most of their previous haul of releases have for the main been passing acquaintances at best attention wise, their new offering pretty much the first to be given serious time to make its proposition. The result is finding a release which still does not have us enraptured with the band’s sound but certainly provided an hour plus of enjoyable doom metal theatre which continues to be increasingly persuasive.

Featuring the return of guitarist Calvin Robertshaw and living up to its title’s tone through creeping infestations of funereal doom metal, Feel The Misery quickly engulfs ears and imagination with its heavy gothic breath and doom laded atmospheres. And My Father Left Forever opens up the West Yorkshire hailing band’s twelve studio album, the track uncaging a swift and tenaciously lively stride sculpted by rapier like rhythms and feisty riffs draped in spicy grooves. There is a rapacious feel to the song which continues as the clean tones of Aaron Stainthorpe begins the tracks’ intrigue rich and melancholy fuelled narrative. The guitars of Andrew Craighan and Robertshaw are equally as descriptive through their enjoyably nagging enterprise, though it is the moments when things slip into a dour gait coloured by the highly emotive violin prowess of keyboardist Shaun MacGowan that the imagination and appetite finds itself at its greediest. The song continues to create a compelling and enjoyable creative drama with each passing minute whilst setting Feel The Misery off in fine and striking style.

MDB Feel The Misery cover_RingMaster Review     The following To Shiver In Empty Halls vents its rancorous wash from its first second as the grievous growls of Stainthorpe crawl over sombre sonic tendrils bred by the guitars, they in turn magnetically shadowed by the bass predation cast by Lena Abé. Continuing to lumber over the senses and into the psyche with bursts of ravenous energy breaking free throughout, the track is like the jaws of a leviathan; riffs its hostile teeth, rhythms its intimidating limbs, and the malevolent air its consumptive breath whilst the sonic and melodic invention echoes the beauty and danger which resides in its presence. Again it is nothing less than compelling and increasingly so with every listen, a success applying to the album as a whole.

A Cold New Curse is a brewing vat of dark tones and deeds crafted by the enthralling designs set free by Craighan and Robertshaw, a tempest which slips from raging sonic and emotional ire to morose immersive beauty with an inhale of breath. The invasive haunting to its presence is where the track most steals personal attention but fair to say that its volatility and inventive trespass from start to finish perpetually entices before the album’s title track stalks and seduces ears in equal skilful manner. No particular element stands out but united they all create a physical and lyrical entanglement hard not to be enjoyably wrapped up in.

From here the album really hits the spot with us, starting with the dark charm and sinister elegance of A Thorn Of Wisdom. Swinging from a gripping bassline spine from Abé, the song courts an infectiousness which borders on virulence even within the gothic lure of the keys and caliginous air enveloping the senses. The track is riveting, its bursts of post punk adventure mouth-watering and the vocal gloom of Stainthorpe magnetic as the album hits a new plateau of persuasion and imagination which relatively continues through I Celebrate Your Skin and excels within I Almost Loved You. The first of the pair lays its portentous glaze down with slowly winding and thickly enticing potency though the shift in vocal style to throat grazing scowls fails to find the same strong mark on personal tastes. Those moments are soon forgotten though as celestial harmonies and incantation like keys and chimes spark the appetite again and help create an alluring finale before its outstanding successor takes over with its incandescent beauty within a spellbinding seam of vocal and melodic melancholy. The song is pure bewitchment, alongside A Thorn Of Wisdom easily taking best song plaudits and as the earlier track leaving lingering temptations and irrefutable reasons to regularly return to Feel The Misery.

The imaginatively tempestuous and climactically varied Within A Sleeping Forest brings the album to a dramatic and stirring close, its hefty landscape an evolving sea of accomplished and varied textures alongside rousing vocals and kaleidoscopic melodies exploring a matching array of emotions. It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable encounter which you know My Dying Bride fans will be rigorously and understandably waxing lyrical over. Here we still have not become big fans but having found a good appetite for Feel The Misery and especially certain moments within it, its recommendation is easy.

Feel The Misery is out now via Peaceville.

Pete RingMaster 25/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Black Inside – A Possession Story

blackinside_RingMaster Review

Initially starting out as a band playing Black Sabbath covers, Italian heavy metallers Black Inside have grown into a strongly accomplished and captivating proposition as evidenced by new album A Possession Story. Casting a classic heavy metal sound with numerous dark flavourings embroiled in doom toned imagination, musically and emotionally, the album is a potent step from a band looking forward to having a very healthy presence within the European metal scene.

Formed in 2009, the Napoli hailing quintet soon moved from playing other’s tracks to writing and performing their own mix of infectious classic, eighties, doom, and epic metal. Autumn 2011 saw the band release the Servant Of The Servants demo which down very well with fans whilst garnering very positive media reviews. Across the December of the following year and the January of its successor, Black Inside recorded debut album The Weigher Of Souls which also upon release via Underground Symphony Records, earned rich praise and attention. Recorded towards the end of last year, the Neil Haynes mixed and mastered A Possession Story pushes the band’s name and sound to loftier heights and easy to expect broader spotlights on Black Inside.

cover_RingMaster Review     The Red Cat Records released proposition opens with Man Is A Wolf To Men, a stirring slice of metal taking little time to awaken ears and appetite with its thrash lined riffery and ravenous mix of rhythmic and aggressive tenacity. There is a definite Metallica feel to the track, an inviting tone which is only accentuated by the guitars of Brian Russo and Eduardo Iannaccone, as well as the grizzly voice of Luigi Martino. Across its length, those same strings also spill tantalising sonic and melodic tempting and a dark drama which is carried deeper into the song by the bass of Vincenzo La Tegola. As you can say about the album overall, there are few major surprises with the encounter yet it has a fresh and powerful presence which only invites involvement.

The Siege Of Jerusalem follows and straight away has a heavier prowl to its gait and doomy air to its nature, guitars spinning a sinister web around the initially spoken vocals and portentous rhythms led by the spiky beats of Enzo Arato. Once setting the scene, the song twists into a more power metal bloomed canter, which maybe does not quite live up to the promise of its entrance but spins a captivating theatre of sound and words. Imagination is also a thick element of the encounter, slips into melodic caresses with impassioned vocals and a tapestry of skilled enterprise from the guitars for the main mesmeric.

The song Black Inside also makes a beguiling introduction, guitar seducing and dark vocals entwining before the song comes alive with sonic flames and a brooding tone of bass, all subsequently attributing to a heavy metal roar with a fusion of inventive unpredictability and sparkling melodic expression. It is a template continuing in both I’m Not Like You and King Of The Moon, though both cast individual and dynamic proposals of their own. The first has a spicy blues rock lining to its fiery rock ‘n’ roll whilst its successor, as in all songs to varying degrees, openly wears the band’s Black Sabbath seeding in its power balladry.

Things get heavier and more sonically flirtatious with Too Dark To See, tangy grooves and anthemic tendencies potent persuasion from early on and only increasing their temptation as the band evolves and twists them with further magnetic resourcefulness across its riveting body. The bass of La Tegola reveals a repertoire of sinister tones and invention alone, superbly and imaginatively backed by the theatre and adventure of the guitars. The best track on the album it is as good as matched by the album’s title track and its own haunted maze of sound and sinister imagination. It is almost imposing with its doom spawned breath and initial elegant collusion of instrumentation and resonating sounds, but it is also another which cannot quite keep its scintillating start consistently going across its whole adventurous landscape. Nevertheless the track is a cauldron of intensity and creative ingenuity which only leaves a healthy greed for more.

The mellow seducing of Forsaking Song with the excellent additional vocals of Sara Shade continues the by now hypnotic lure of A Possession Story whilst the creative stalking of Jeffrey from yet another irresistible introduction, swings into a lumbering beast of incitement. Its doom’ heritage’ is an open predation and persistently swaying the intent and tone of the track as it broadens its creative shoulders and thick mesh of sound with every passing minute and idea. Like Iron Maiden meets Candlemass, the song is eight minutes of provocative resourcefulness which every time it begins to labour in flavour or style manages to sculpt and whip out another thrilling and unpredictable twist.

The purest slice of classic metal rock ‘n’ roll on the album brings the album to a close, Pharmassacre an anthem to swing fists and vocal chords to, and though for personal tastes it is the weakest song, it still creates a lively and enjoyable close to a highly satisfying release.

A Possession Story is a grower too, a release sparking stronger pleasure as every listen reveals more of its more understated but potent qualities. It is fair to say that Black Inside is not ready to turn the heavy metal scene fully its way yet but their album certainly gives it a very inviting nudge.

A Possession Story is available now via Red Cat Records.

RingMaster 14/08/2015

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Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Pic Ester Segarra

Pic Ester Segarra

Whether a fan or not, there is no escaping or denying the impact Paradise Lost have had on the doom/gothic and indeed metal scene in general since emerging back in the late eighties. They have also shown and revelled in the seduction of melancholy and beauty of pain through propositions which emotionally and sonically have ravaged senses and devoured the rawest corners of themselves and listeners alike. The UK band has been one of the most pungent forces in dark metal across their thirteen studio albums and as an explosive live incitement; an unrelenting inspiration continuing to ignite ears and spark imaginations with no sign of diminishing as evidenced by new album The Plague Within. Where the album sits in the landscape of the band’s inventive history we will leave for others to discuss, but fair to say that Paradise Lost have unleashed one of their and metal’s most emotionally and physically dark, musically voracious and compelling recent proposals with their fourteenth protagonist.

The album is an evolving predator and seductress from start to finish with songs that provide the fiercest intimidation and warmest enticement within their own investigations of sound and human condition inspired turmoil. It is also startlingly diverse and unpredictable, not to say previous albums lacked such qualities but virtually every twist and narrative within The Plague Within throws a curve ball to certainly expectations and assumptions of the Paradise Lost sound.

It starts straight away with opener No Hope In Sight, its cloud of shadows enriched by immediately spicy guitar enterprise from lead guitarist Greg Mackintosh. Vocal scowls from Nick Holmes infuse the air soon after as the song eventually settles into its melancholic and predatory stroll, the thick rhythms of drummer Adrian Erlandsson and throaty lures cast by bassist Steve Edmondson aligning with the steady tempting of rhythm guitarist Aaron Aedy and Mackintosh. A Type O Negative croon emerges as the always impressive clean delivery of Holmes entices over the jagged riffery nagging ears, though subsequently the early tempestuous air returns to immerse the enthralling nature and persuasion of warmer hues.

Press_Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review    The riveting start leads to the far more caustic and ravenous presence of Terminal. There is a militant feel to the rhythms right away, their heavy swipes belligerent against the rasping vocals and sonically acrid air around them, whilst the guitars have a corrosive edge to their riffs and melodic entwining of ears. It is a solid and tightly gripping encounter, a blackened examination of emotions but does miss the spark of the first track and the following An Eternity Of Lies. The third song opens with keys and an instantly captivating orchestral caress, with a guitar quickly joining the tempting with its own melodic hues. Keys continue to brew and expel a gothic hug on the imagination as the song blossoms, an aural portrait invigorated by the drama of guitars and the diverse delivery of Holmes. It is a bewitching encounter, a melodic fascination infusing a heavier rapacious tempting across its rich and volatile dark dance, and quite irresistible.

Already the potent diversity of songs and album is apparent and highly persuasive, continuing in the contagion that is Punishment Through Time. The song is a thick and ferocious rocker of a track, but controlled in its assault and dirty in its rock ‘n’ roll. Fair to say it was a track not expected, the song almost welcoming even with its lyrical despair and predacious character, and almost arguing with the earlier claim that The Plague Within is one the band’s most intensive and darkly suffocating offerings yet. There is a black heart to it though that is emulated and shown in its fullest rancor in Beneath Broken Earth. The track prowls with emotionally leaden jaws and an oppressive animus of tone and intent led by the bitter guttural growls of Holmes. A tsunami of slow hate and erosive doom ferocity, the song almost draws a death rattle from the senses with its weight and enmity.

Both Sacrifice The Flame and Victim Of The Past enthral with individual uniqueness, the first a hymn of melodic and vocal beauty within a funereally paced and cancerous stalking of the senses whilst its successor with a similarly sedated energy, certainly initially, blossoms from a mellow seducing of vocal and melodic charm into a creative and emotional turbulence. With a storm bred atmosphere, the song ebbs and flows between the two climates as it reveals and explores its morose yet enticing landscape; again Paradise Lost crafting a sublime collusion of extreme and contrasting textures in one inescapable seducing.

The epic like heralding of Flesh From Bone at its start is one irresistible essence backed up swiftly by a saunter through blackened and cavernous symphonic terrain before exploding in a venomous spewing of rabid rhythms, scarring riffs, and voracity soaked vocal animosity. Fearsomely enchanting in its full hostility, the song makes way for another imposing slab of rock ‘n’ roll posing as Cry Out where blues rock grooves and acidic ingenuity infiltrates inventive bad blood. It is another, as so many encounters within The Plague Within, which has a host of turns and detours of sound that there are almost songs within songs. The blackest, ravenous anthem is soon a passing memory in that precise moment in time though as the colossal Return To The Sun brings the album to a mighty and climatic close. As brutal as it is melodically immersive, the track is an intensive exclamation mark to The Plague Within, a final creative swipe to emphasise what is one masterful and threateningly majestic proposal.

Fourteen albums in and into their third decade, we can safely say that Paradise Lost still provides one of the benchmarks for aspiring metal bands to contemplate, the proof is all there in The Plague Within.

The Plague Within is available now via

RingMaster 05/06/2015

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Shroud Eater – Face The Master


If we are all going to burn in hell or be the playthings of the darkest forces then Shroud Eater may have come up with the perfect soundtrack with new two-track EP Face The Master. Like a demonic covenant between sludge, doom, and occult metal, the Florida hailing band’s sound is a web of ravenous melodic intent and riff laden ferocity. As evidenced on the new encounter it is also voraciously predatory, greedily devouring ears on its way to ultimately seducing the senses.

Face The Master follows the band’s acclaimed Dead Ends EP of 2013, an attention grabbing marker for Shroud Eater after the earlier exploits of a self-titled EP debut in 2009 and their well-received first album ThunderNoise two years later. Re-energised with a new line-up since that release, band and Face The Master roar from the first second never relenting until the last, easily showing why Shroud Eater has been compared to the likes of Kylesa, High on Fire, and Acid King but equally instilling another step forward in their own distinct and intensive sound.

SE_FtM_CoverFinal_Print     The EP’s title track opens with a sample from the 1979 TV movie Salem’s Lot, the voice of James Mason instantly luring in attention and imagination before riffs venomously cascade over the senses. The hellacious clutches of rhythms are similarly an inescapable onslaught, the hefty swings of drummer Davin Sosa primal bait and an uncompromising intrusion backed by the almost slavering bestiality of the basslines crafted by Janette Valentine. The riffs and rugged grooves expelled by guitarist Jean Saiz similarly show no mercy whilst both of the ladies vocals unite to savagely entrance body and emotions with hellish revelry. It is a thrilling and compelling mix, a track which is almost flirtatious with its searing melodic endeavour and danger loaded intrigue but as its sound a predator in character and intensity.

Face The Master is enough to wax lyrical about the EP but is swiftly backed by the brooding nature and consumption of House of Endings. If it is possible, the song is slightly lighter than its predecessor in that it has a more inviting swing to its gait, though that is tempered by the sonic bellows and the dark almost malevolent hearted tones of the bass. The guitar of Saiz sculpts a terrain of snarling almost rabid riffs which prowls song and the senses whilst simultaneously casting a spell of acidic and sultry melodic enterprise as intoxicating as it is piercing. The track, as the first, consumes body and thoughts, igniting and exhausting both with sonic invention and intensive energy respectively.

Shroud Eater maybe already drawing references to the metal giants already mentioned but on the evidence of the outstanding Face The Master, they will be standing by their sides very soon.

Face The Master is available from April 7th via Primitive Violence Records & Visual on regular and special-edition cassette, and digitally @

Upcoming Shroud Eater tour dates:

Wednesday April 22 – Savannah, GA @ The Jinx

Thursday April 23 – Raleigh, NC @ The Maywood

Friday April 24 – Philly, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

Saturday April 25 – NYC, NY @ St. Vitus

Sunday April 26 – Washington DC @ TBA

Monday April 27 – Wilmington, NC @ TBA

Tuesday April 28 – Charleston, SC – “Tunnel of Lust” House Show

RingMaster 07/04/2015

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The Dead – Deathsteps to Oblivion


Unleashing their third album, Australian death metallers The Dead confront the senses with an energy sapping, senses consuming slavering beast and that is just the first track upon Deathsteps to Oblivion. The title perfectly sums up the corrosive and emotionally damaging journey the band drags the listener upon. It is an intensive examination of thoughts and emotions traversing a quintet of excruciatingly heavy and intensive soundscapes soaked in a pestilential fusion of death and sludge metal filtered through the darkest doom laded climate imaginable. It is a sound which belongs to all three styles yet is uneasy settling in any, creating its own domain of raw originality which is familiar but more so innovative. It is a harsh and demanding proposition but also one unafraid to melodically and sonically explore its imagination and providing potent evidence as to why the band is so revered in many quarters.

Formed in 2005 with a line-up which included members of Obfuscate Mass and Misery, the Brisbane band swiftly released a demo followed by the Armoured Assassin single in 2006. Following a second demo the band’s self-titled debut album was unveiled the following year, an encounter making an instant and imposing impression on the underground scene. With the Nocturnal Funeral EP subsequently under their belt, as well as increasing their live reputation with shows over the years alongside bands such as Behemoth, Obituary, Kataklysm, Psycroptic, and Ulcerate, The Dead gripped greater attention with second full-length Ritual Executions. Widely acclaimed through its independent release and a reboot through Diabolical Conquest Webzine which evolved into Transcending Obscurity and release the new ravenous exploit from the band, the album lured the broadest attention and spotlights, yet as Deathsteps to Oblivion infests the psyche you sense it was nothing compared to the response the new encounter has the potential to trigger. The line-up of vocalist Mike Yee, guitarist/bassist Adam Keleher, and drummer Chris Morse consume and immerse the listener with an aural suffocation which is as inhospitable as it is inescapably captivating, an incitement stirring up shadows and intimidations which seduce as they savage the senses.

Opener Maze of Fire immediately confronts and surrounds ears with a web of threatening sinister voices, their demonic roars the lure into a wall of debilitating heavy handed riffs and equally destructive rhythms. Within that trap though there is a melodic coaxing from the guitar which sparks the imagination as still varied and intimidating vocals prowl over thoughts with their intrusive narrative and tones. It is a fascinating entanglement to be lost in, especially with the slip into haunting melodic scenery which is as visually potent as the visceral sounds and vocals which soon share its passage in time threatening. It is a track which inspires different feelings and explorations in the imagination with every listen, something apply to all songs on the album, but a perpetually gripping and challenging persuasion.

The following Disturbing the Dead is just as carnivorous in presence and tone, arguably even more predatory as it crawls with torment laden intent over the senses. Its first half is an unrelenting scourge of doom empowered angst and intensity, a thoroughly appetising violation but from there it without losing funereal despair and malevolence, a sonic and creative enterprise is agitated to lure like a beacon in the thick sludgy tar of the song’s insatiable heart. It is an intriguing and suggestive offering which as its last note lingers in the ear, seems like another world to the one dawning on a rally of gunfire and with destructive and blackened voracity, emerges as The God Beyond. It is the rawest assault imaginable, a caustic sonic haze frequented by hate and fury, but temporary as the battle field returns to provoke a richer and clearer, but no less torturous tempest of sound and exploration. A constant test and provocation, the track is a maelstrom which is uneasy on the ear but wholly seductive upon thoughts and emotions. It is a song which it is hard to get a full handle on in sound and narrative but one inspiring a hunger to find the answers within its cavernous despair.

Terminus swerves in on a rhythmic seduction next, tribal and suggestive beats from Morse transfixing with exotic persuasion whilst bass and guitar flirt with their own sonic teasing. This is again just the doorway into the harshest shadows and challenging depths of the band’s creative rabidity, a serpentine breath accompanying the emerging vocal scarring and ruinous air of the track. Of course it is only part of the picture, melodic intrigue and clean vocal tenacity adding their twists to the sonic mystique and imagination which evolves within the black fog of sound. The track sends shivers down the spine as it seduces and gnaws on the psyche, taking best track award though the closing title track seriously challenges there. It too is a smothering tapestry of threat and invitational suggestion, extremes colluding and toying with each other within a cavern of uncompromising and ravenous aural profanation.

The five years between albums has only seen The Dead find new fears to exploit and nuances to discover in listener and their music respectively. Deathsteps to Oblivion is not for the faint hearted or emotionally sensitive, but to challenge and reward the corners of mind and soul it is maybe the most essential must investigate release of the year.

Deathsteps to Oblivion is available digitally or on limited edition CD now via Transcending Obscurity @ Transcending Obscurity

RingMaster 19/11/2014

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The Howling Void – Runa


There are not many releases which are as mesmeric and meditative as they are oppressively haunting but that definitely is the immersive landscape found upon the Runa EP from US funeral/doom metal project The Howling Void. The three track release is a hungry and intimidating flight across vast expanses of melodic dirge fuelled terrains, an exploration as warm as it is chilling, as seductive as it is menacing. These are extremes which play out simultaneously, enveloping ears and emotions with smouldering flames of invention around cold fingers of intent as the imagination revels in the rich depths and suggestive intrigue of tracks. It is a glorious and deeply rewarding proposition, a bottomless free fall into the creativity of the band with every journey into the EP breeding new textures, thoughts, and emotions.

The Howling Void is the solo project of San Antonio multi-instrumentalist Ryan (Hordes of the Morning Star). Started in 2007, the band has released a quartet of well-received and increasingly acclaimed albums with a funeral doom sound which submerges ears and senses in a dark and cavernous but transfixing realm. Runa was originally released digitally last year but has now been given its physical unveiling with Avantgarde Music, and to make the release even more compelling comes with a third unreleased exploration within its body. It is a riveting encounter which with the extra song is a must for new and old fans alike, and one reinforcing and stretching the already realised enthralling invention and imagination of its creator.

The release swiftly encases ears in a searching blend of expressive keys and raw riffs, opener Irminsûl looming over the senses and thoughts with heavy gait and tone aligned to a vibrant and almost fiery melodic and rhythmic enterprise. It is an enthralling coaxing which only breeds stronger potency as keys spread their similarly toxic and seductive hauntings as vocals float with harmonic expression and celestial mellowness. The EP is themed by “the mythic paradigm of Initiation in the Left Hand Path as represented by Woden/Wotan/Odin’s journey into darkness in search of wisdom” but every soar across the shadowed skies and soundscape of song and release, invites adventures just as unique to the imagination, personal visions and endeavours sparked by the encounter which are as fluid and vivid as the evolving narrative laying out for them.

The scintillating piece of composing and emotional colouring is followed by the just as absorbing Nine Nights. It makes a sterner and muscular entrance than its predecessor, guitars grinding their riffs against the senses with predatory attitude. This too is just a moment in a shifting landscape though, melodies and vocals soon gliding tantalisingly over ears within the caustic and prowling scenery sculpted by rhythms and riffs. The merger of extremes is stunning, beauty and cold almost pestilential breath a gripping and invigorating binding for ears and emotions. Imagine being in a small row boat in the middle of a rapacious stretch of water with no escape in sight as thick oppressive fog creeps ever closer. Listening to song and album feels very much like that and the experience is scintillating physically and emotionally.

The new track upon Runa is The Wolf And The Eclipse and as soon as its hint of a storm is the cue for a spicy melodic stroke of guitar, the track slips easily into the dark erosive climate of the release. There is shamanic lure to the smoulder of vocals and tribal tenacity to the drums which shape a striking gateway into a radiantly bracing and evocatively lit expanse of sinister and melodically graceful mesmerism, which in turn evolves into another intrusively commanding and heavy doom soaked provocation.

The outstanding challenge completes a similarly impressive release. The Howling Void is a project still relatively in the shadows but Runa has all the attributes and majesty to push the project into a broader spotlight. No one should miss out on its second coming.

The Runa EP is available via Avantgarde Music now @

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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Nethermost – Noetic


Transporting the listener down into the depths of depressive yet intoxicatingly emotional and epic landscapes, Noetic is a strikingly compelling entrance from US metallers Nethermost. Released via Horror Pain Gore Death, the band’s debut album is like an inventive soul stealing nightmare where you feel you should maybe make a struggle to awaken from but really want to immerse deeper into its pestilential embrace. A thick fusion of melodic death and doom metal, the release simultaneously manages to be a bruising and sonically seductive devourer of the senses. It does not leap out as much as some similarly sculpted releases but definitely lingers for a just as rewarding success.

The successor to the Texas band’s first release, the four-track Alpha, their new album engrosses ears and imagination from start to finish. Admittedly passions ebbed and flowed at times across its nine imposing songs but never rested on less than enthused appetite for the erosive incitements on offer. Mixed and mastered by Marco Santini at Antigravity Studios in London, Noetic needs little time to involve imagination and emotions in its presence, the opening of Matrix Divine a tantalising coaxing of expressive guitar. That lure continues as the song expels a caustic energy and breath, the vocals of John Johnston raw and impassioned making an instant mark whilst the sinew driven beats of Edgar Pinto take a firm hand of the senses. The song is more a smouldering than a fire but with the craft of lead guitarist Cinthya Rocha and rhythm guitarist Waldo Rocha spinning a melodic web within a rugged nest of riffs it never releases its captivating grip.

The strong start moves onto Weald Realms, a similarly structured weave of hostile intensity aligned to persistent grooves and sonic temptation which swiftly draws willing submission with their unrelenting persuasion. The track is a transfixing encounter, the vocal buffeting lying easily with the acidic melodies that vein the almost toxic emprise at work. Thoughts of bands like Daylight Dies and Anathema offer themselves during song and album, but only as flavours in something emerging individual to Nethermost, as shown again with The Void Of Souls. Opening with a sultry groove which would not be out of place in any album from The Mission, the track twists and flirts with an exotic lilt to its melodies, which alone ignites ears, and a prowling intensity to its heart. It is a superb track, a fall through a cavernous yet spellbinding climate into an emotional examination.

The pair of Nous Alliance and Synergos keeps the impressive presence of the album high, if without quite matching their predecessors. The first is a heavier predatory offering but bound in enticing of sonic enterprise and slow searing grooves whilst the second takes the other route with a lighter melodic flaming within imposing shadows. Both though reveal more of the creative tenacity of the band and individuals, the guitars unafraid to make swift turns in their adventurous suasion whilst rhythms equally are able to fluidly switch their attack through the changing terrain of songs. It is only the vocal squalls of Johnston which show little want to expand but to be honest if he did tracks would relinquish their essential ferocity and potency.

If there is any issue to offer up against the album it is the familiarity between some of the melodic and sonic designs, Arcanum coming straight after Synergos and without attention the two merge together with little notice. It is not a major issue here, such the impressive nature of those tracks, but ahead there is hope for stronger distinction between songs. The muscular stroll of Sphere Caliginous ensures it does immediately leap out from the previous encounter, riffs and rhythms laying down a ravenous and intimidating scene for the guitars to colour with their ever provocative hues.

The short and outstanding instrument I Envision seduces ears and imagination next, its gentle stroll basking in the enterprising scenery and beauty of guitar strings and keys. Thoroughly mesmeric, the piece makes way for Order Of Mithra to bring the album to a fine end. Managing to be the most malevolent proposition on Noetic but holding a flaming melodic radiance, the track ensures ears and thoughts leave the album heavily drenched in the creative invention and immersive atmosphere which makes the band’s debut very easy to enthusiastically recommend. There is still plenty of potential within Nethermost which you feel is still to be unleashed and listening to the quality of Noetic that is an exciting thought for sure.

Noetic is available now via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions now @

RingMaster 25/09/2014

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